Thursday’s Playoff Menu
For some reason-read that as TV makes the schedules, there are no NBA playoff games for the 1st time since the post season began. The Knicks-Pacers series as well as the Grizzlies-Thunder series in fact takes off until Saturday when the venues change.
The Knicks will be in Indianapolis for game 3. The series is locked at 1 apiece. Same for the Grizz and Thunder. 2 tight games at Oklahoma City so far. Game 3 goes on the road as the teams will hook up in Memphis.
The NHL is anything but quiet. Only 1 series is finished in round 1, that being Vancouver and San Jose. The Sharks swept the Canucks for their 1st ever 4 game sweep. However 3 big games on Thursday with 2 series on the verge of closeout.
Minnesota will be in Chicago. The Blackhawks lead the series 3-1 after splitting the 2 games previous in Minnesota. The Wild will still have goalie Josh Harding in the nets. If there were more coverage of the NHL ( Why not just beat every NBA game into the ground) Harding would get plenty of love. he was diagnosed with MS during the offseason and was a late replacement for the Wild after their starter Niklas Backstrom was hurt during warmups before game 1.
Also looking for the series winner will be the Ottawa Senators. The Sens will be at Montreal and because of an injury to starter Carey Price the Canadiens will go with their backup, the former Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj. Budaj replaced Price for the over time in game 4, a game the Sens rallied from down 2-0 to win 3-2. An Ottawa win sends the Habs home for the summer.
Meantime the upstart Islanders, huge underdogs to the top seeded Pittsburgh Penguins will look to take a 3-2 lead in this eastern conference quarter finals. The Isles and Pens split the 1st 2 in Pittsburgh and the last 2 on Long Island. The Pens will also be making a change in nets but not because of injury. Marc-Andre Fleury has been awful in the series and will be replaced by backup Tomas Vokoun. In the 1st 4 games Fleury surrendered 14 goals. In fact he gave those up in just the last 3 games as Pittsburgh shut out the Isles in game 1.